- Constance Wiener and Christopher Waters say that the use of perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl known as PFAs are the cause of tooth decaying and dental cavities among children as mentioned in the Journal of Public Health Dentistry.
Waters, director at the School of Dentistry’s research labs says that the PFAs stays in the environment for longer times because of the strong chemical bonds which makes it difficult for them to break down. Drinking water may contain the PFAs which not many people are aware about leading to tooth decays.
A survey was conducted by National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey to study the reason for tooth decays. About 629 children participated in the study for examining the PFAs, reason for tooth decay. Their age ranged from 3 to 11 years old. These children gave samples of blood to analyse for PFAs in 2013 and 2014. Factors such as Body Mass Index, race and how often they brushed their teeth were analysed.
There are seven PFAs analysed by Wiener and Waters out of which perfluorodecanoic acid was the one that gave higher levels of tooth decay among children.
Dr. Wiener, an associate professor in the Department of Dental Practice and Rural Health states that this particular PFA Perfluorodecanoic acid has a strong chemical bong because of the long molecular structure hence it is difficult to break it down and it stays in the environment for a longer time leading to health problems like tooth decay. The study report says that half of the children among the ones who took the survey didn’t have any measurable amount of PFAs maybe because certain PFAs have stopped being produced in the US.
PFAs may disturb the development of enamel in a healthy way making the teeth hard which causes decay.
Moreover, the study suggests that the children who brushed teeth twice a day and who had been to dentists for check-ups were less prone to tooth decay compared to the kids who did not.